Nutritional value (1 medium): 75 calories, 3 grams of fibre.
Disease-fighting factor: Apples contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which may help lower the chance of developing diabetes and asthma. They are also a natural mouth freshener, cleaning your teeth with each crunchy bite.
Did you know?
Most of an apple's flavour, nutrition and aroma come from fragrance cells in or near the apple skin. So for maximum benefit and flavour, don't peel your apple.
Nutritional value (1/2 cup or 125 mL) 41 calories, 1.5 grams of fibre, rich in antioxidants.
Disease-fighting factor: Blueberries rank number one in antioxidant activity when compared to 60 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Blueberries may help lower the risk of developing age-related diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Did you know?
Blueberries freeze very well. Here's how: Rinse, then let berries dry in a single layer on a tea towel. Arrange in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets and place in freezer overnight. Transfer to sealed freezer-safe containers, good for up to one year. Use them straight from the freezer in your morning cereal, blend them into a smoothie or mix them into pancake or muffin batter. (You can also buy frozen blueberries, available year-round.)
Nutritional value (1/2 cup or 125 mL) 25 calories, less than 1 gram of fibre, source of vitamin A, folate and potassium.
Disease-fighting factor: Cantaloupe is high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Cantaloupe is a perfect diet food since it has about half the calories of most other fruits.
Did you know?
Since bacteria can grow on the outside rind, it is important to wash cantaloupe before cutting into it.
Nutritional value (1/2 grapefruit) 52 calories, 2 grams of fibre, source of vitamin A.
Disease-fighting factor: Pink grapefruit contains lycopene and flavonoids, which may help protect against some types of cancer. Grapefruit also boasts an ample supply of pectin, a soluble fibre that may help lower cholesterol levels.
Did you know?
Grapefruit can heighten the effect of certain drugs, including cholesterol lowering statins. Check with your pharmacist to see if grapefruit may interfere with any of your medications.
Nutritional value (1 large) 56 calories, 3 grams of fibre, source of vitamins C and E, and of magnesium and potassium.
Disease-fighting factor: With more vitamin C than oranges, kiwis can help in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. They can also help lower blood triglyceride levels (high triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease).
Did you know?
Most people remove the fuzzy skin, but kiwis can actually be eaten whole – skin and all.
Page 1 of 4 -- On page 2, learn what other fruits round out the list.Orange
Nutritional value (1 medium) 62 calories, 3 grams of fibre, source of vitamin C, folate and potassium
Disease-fighting factor: Oranges are a good source of folate, an important vitamin for pregnant women that can help prevent neural tube defects in their infants. Oranges also contain a phytochemical called hesperidin, which may lower triglyceride and blood cholesterol levels.
Did you know?
The edible white part of the orange rind has nearly the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh, so eat that part too!
Nutritional value (1/2 cup or 125 mL) 32 calories, 4 grams of fibre, source of folate and magnesium.
Disease-fighting factor: Raspberries are rich in ellagic acid, an antioxidant that may help prevent cervical cancer. Promising studies in animals have led researchers to believe that raspberries may also help treat esophageal and colon cancer.
Did you know?
Raspberries are so perishable that only 3 percent of Canada's raspberry crop is sold fresh. The remaining berries are used to make jam, baked goods and other delicacies.
Nutritional value (1/2 cup or 125 mL) 23 calories, 1.5 grams of fibre, source of vitamin C.
Disease-fighting factor: Strawberries are rich in several antioxidants that have antiinflammatory properties, including helping to prevent atherosclerosis (hardened arteries) and to suppress the progression of cancerous tumours.
Did you know? The flavour and colour of strawberries can be enhanced by balsamic vinegar. So for a fabulous dessert, drizzle a bit over ripe strawberries and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Nutritional value (1/2 cup or 125 mL) 25 calories, 2.5 grams of fibre, rich in antioxidants.
Disease-fighting factor: Cranberries are antibacterial and studies show that they can help treat and prevent urinary tract infections. Recent research has also linked cranberries to the prevention of kidney stones and ulcers.
Did you know? Unsweetened cranberry juice makes an excellent mouthwash – studies show it can help kill bacteria and fight cavities.
Nutritional value (1/2 cup or 125 mL) 23 calories, less than 1 gram of fibre, source of vitamin A.
Disease-fighting factor: Watermelon is 92 percent water, making it aptly named. It's a great addition to any weight-loss diet because it is low in calories and satisfies the sweet tooth.
Did you know? Watermelon rinds and seeds are both edible. Roasted, seasoned seeds make a great snack food, and the juicy rind can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled.
Page 2 of 4 -- On page 3, find tips to help you conquer stress.
10 anti-stress tips:
1. Isolation tank
Fill a tub (a closed shell or a small pool) with water and add Epsom salts to help the body float, much as it would in the ocean. We tried the experience in an open isolation tank, and the sense of release was immediate! Floating on the surface of the water and turning a little, the muscles slowly relax and let go. Those likely to feel confined in a closed tank can still enjoy this experience in an open one. On exiting the tank, whether open or closed, a sense of true relaxation is felt, as though you were walking on a cloud.
Good to know: With a shell-type isolation tank, you can choose to keep it open or closed. People with muscle pain could also use floating cushions for greater comfort.
Watsu massage is given in a shallow pool filled with warm water, as the massage therapist combines fluid movements with rocking and gentle stretching. The stretching and twisting serve to loosen up tight muscles, and the sensation of being massaged in the water is absolutely unique. A gentle form of massage, Watsu lets you achieve a high level of relaxation and leaves you feeling as though you've been drifting on the tranquil waters of a lake.
Good to know: It's important to be comfortable with the physical proximity of the therapist. On a few occasions, you'll literally be wrapped in his or her arms.
You don't need the flexibility of a ballerina to practise yoga. Combining exercise with meditation and breathing, this age-old art lets you relax while stretching and strengthening your muscles. There are many different types of yoga: To choose the one that will best suit your needs, look for a yoga centre in your neighbourhood and speak to the instructors. If you would prefer to practise in the privacy of your own home, there are countless DVDs available on the subject.
4. California massage
This is a full, personal massage characterized by the use of effleurage techniques and slow, sweeping movements, with special attention paid to the hands, back and feet.
Good to know: This type of massage is not for the bashful: Since it concentrates not only on the face, head and upper chest but also on all other parts of the body, the receiver will have to be naked (one side of the body at a time) so that nothing interferes with the massage therapist's movements. The stomach and breasts may also be massaged, so be sure to mention it if you're not comfortable with the therapist working on those areas.
5. Shiatsu massaging cushion
A heated cushion that attaches to a chair, this product reproduces the pressure of a shiatsu massage. The "massage" lasts about ten minutes, and the anti-stress effect always draws very positive comments. Rather than an uncomfortable vibration, the user experiences a pressure much like that of a real massage. The cushion loosens up the back muscles, including the shoulder blades, and it's easy to set up. If you are looking for a relaxing health break with minimal preparation time, check out www.charlescraft.ca.
6. Hot bath with essential oils
The hot bath is a classic relaxation technique, yet we often forget that the addition of essential oils helps to further promote relaxation. Extracted from lavender, thyme, rosemary, ylang ylang, camomile or mandarin oranges, essential oils have a relaxing and restorative effect.
7. Cardiac coherence
It's a well-known fact that stress increases the heart rate and a constantly high heart rate is not healthy. Heartmath.com is a website that, among other things, offers EmWave personal stress-reliever products for "effective, practical solutions for reducing stress." Visit www.heartmath.com for further information.
Page 3 of 4 -- On page 4, learn more about beating stress, PLUS, the top 10 websites that are good for your health.
8. Relaxation CDs
• Tibetan Chants, Buddhist Meditation (Lama Karta, Milan Records) This CD of oriental sounds can help you stay centred in the moment.
• Rainforest with Alpha Brainwave Pulses (The Relaxation Company) Made up solely of nature sounds, this CD contains an impressive recording quality. Though the same sounds are repeated, one still gets the impression of being in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
• Natural Stress Relief (Dan Gibson, Solitudes) A high-quality recording where the waves sound like real waves, the rainfall like real rainfall. One has the impression of being surrounded by nature.
A form of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture purports that stress reflects an energy "blockage" somewhere in the body. After patients fill out a questionnaire and submit to an examination to determine their state of health, the acupuncturist places needles into various parts of their body to re-establish the flow of energy. The patients are often lying down, and the needles are eventually withdrawn.
Good to know: Acupuncture can be stressful if you're afraid of needles, and while it isn't exactly pleasant (the needles prick a bit when they're inserted), acupuncture isn't painful either. Sometimes you even forget the needles are there.
This is a touch-based therapy focused on the feet. The practitioner exerts pressure on different parts of the feet, which are linked to specific organs or other parts of the body. The relaxing effects on the body are said to last several days.
10 websites to help promote a healthy lifestyle
With so much information on health out there, it's hard to know where to turn. Here are a few websites monitored by professionals, based on the most recent medical research.
The Canadian Cancer Society offers a wealth of information on cancer, how to prevent it and, above all, how to deal with cancer or help a loved one with cancer.
The Canadian Mental Health Association offers ways to assess one's stress level and to effectively relieve such stress. The website also features chat groups intended to help people better understand and manage mental illness.
All you need to know about diabetes and how to prevent it. The nutrition and recipe section is especially interesting and thorough.
Financed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, this website helps to assess the relevance of studies cited in newspaper headlines.
The voice of the profession nationwide, Dieticians of Canada is a referral centre on nutrition dedicated to promoting healthy eating and lifestyle habits among all Canadians. We especially like its Virtual Grocery Store and its tasty recipes (click on "Consumer Tips and Tools").
As well as provide updated and reliable information on all aspects relating to health, Health Canada publishes daily advisories, alerts and consumer product recalls.
The Cardiac Care Network of Ontario is a network of 18 hospitals working closely with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to coordinate cardiac care in Ontario. CCN offers a comprehensive range of support services to cardiac patients, including updated wait times for procedures as well as flexible options meant to help patients receive timely care.
The Canadian Women's Health Network website presents a feminine perspective to current and timely issues (body image, breast cancer, women and caregiving, menopause, etc.).
The number one resource and referral centre for information on health services in Ontario. As well as offer information on programs and services, this Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website issues public health advisories and updates for all Ontario residents.
The Mayo Clinic, the celebrated American health institution, maintains a website chock full of information on healthy living at any age.
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